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How Rio Blanco Shows That a ‘Shared Network’ Can Make Sense in Rural Colorado

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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Broadband Breakfast Insight: A great article detailing the way that a rural community, even in a sparsely-populated region of Colorado, is able to make an open-access network work for the communities and residents of the region. ->

Rio Blanco County Stays Relevant With Broadband, from Broadband Communities Magazine.

Colorado became a hotbed of community broadband activity several years ago when dozens of cities and counties began voting to override restrictive state legislation and take control of their broadband destinies. In November 2016 alone, 26 localities held broadband referenda; all 26 referenda passed, most of them by wide margins.

Rio Blanco County, a rural county in northwestern Colorado with a population of less than 7,000, held an override vote in 2014 and is now connecting customers to Rio Blanco Broadband, a network that will deliver fiber or wireless broadband access to nearly all premises. However, its story began much earlier, in 1999, when the school district in Meeker, the county seat, linked its buildings with fiber. Once the school network was up and running, the town of Meeker, the local library and the county hospital all requested to use the school district’s dark fiber – and the Meeker Metropolitan Area Network (Meeker MAN) was born. “It ran for a decade and a half, and we had an abnormal amount of IT cooperation,” says Blake Mobley, who was the IT director of the school district during that period.

In 2014, when the county decided to implement a modern broadband system, it recruited Mobley to be the county IT director because of his experience with the Meeker MAN. “It was the perfect storm,” Mobley says. “There was grassroots desire for broadband, the county commissioners were on board, the county had money to proceed and I had some experience with broadband.”

The county set a goal of obtaining the fastest internet access it could for as many people as it could and offering it at Google-type pricing ($70 for gigabit service). Formulating the policy goal in this way – rather than setting goals in terms of economic development or return on investment – was the first unique aspect of the project.

[more…]

Source: Seven Models For Community Broadband

Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Roundup

Alabama Dispenses $17M In Broadband Funds, New Broadband Mapping Insight, Pipeline Attack

Ivey announces $17 million to deploy broadband, Microsoft data for broadband map, and “Robin Hood” group involved in pipeline attack.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey


Broadband Breakfast Insight: A great article detailing the way that a rural community, even in a sparsely-populated region of Colorado, is able to make an open-access network work for the communities and residents of the region. ->

Rio Blanco County Stays Relevant With Broadband, from Broadband Communities Magazine.

Colorado became a hotbed of community broadband activity several years ago when dozens of cities and counties began voting to override restrictive state legislation and take control of their broadband destinies. In November 2016 alone, 26 localities held broadband referenda; all 26 referenda passed, most of them by wide margins.

Rio Blanco County, a rural county in northwestern Colorado with a population of less than 7,000, held an override vote in 2014 and is now connecting customers to Rio Blanco Broadband, a network that will deliver fiber or wireless broadband access to nearly all premises. However, its story began much earlier, in 1999, when the school district in Meeker, the county seat, linked its buildings with fiber. Once the school network was up and running, the town of Meeker, the local library and the county hospital all requested to use the school district’s dark fiber – and the Meeker Metropolitan Area Network (Meeker MAN) was born. “It ran for a decade and a half, and we had an abnormal amount of IT cooperation,” says Blake Mobley, who was the IT director of the school district during that period.

In 2014, when the county decided to implement a modern broadband system, it recruited Mobley to be the county IT director because of his experience with the Meeker MAN. “It was the perfect storm,” Mobley says. “There was grassroots desire for broadband, the county commissioners were on board, the county had money to proceed and I had some experience with broadband.”

The county set a goal of obtaining the fastest internet access it could for as many people as it could and offering it at Google-type pricing ($70 for gigabit service). Formulating the policy goal in this way – rather than setting goals in terms of economic development or return on investment – was the first unique aspect of the project.

[more…]

Source: Seven Models For Community Broadband

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Broadband Roundup

5G In 12 GHz Band, Vaccine Hotline, NAB On Fox Free Speech Case

Industry groups ask for 5G space on 12 GHz band, new hotline for vaccines, NAB on Fox free speech case.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Marilyn Mosby


Broadband Breakfast Insight: A great article detailing the way that a rural community, even in a sparsely-populated region of Colorado, is able to make an open-access network work for the communities and residents of the region. ->

Rio Blanco County Stays Relevant With Broadband, from Broadband Communities Magazine.

Colorado became a hotbed of community broadband activity several years ago when dozens of cities and counties began voting to override restrictive state legislation and take control of their broadband destinies. In November 2016 alone, 26 localities held broadband referenda; all 26 referenda passed, most of them by wide margins.

Rio Blanco County, a rural county in northwestern Colorado with a population of less than 7,000, held an override vote in 2014 and is now connecting customers to Rio Blanco Broadband, a network that will deliver fiber or wireless broadband access to nearly all premises. However, its story began much earlier, in 1999, when the school district in Meeker, the county seat, linked its buildings with fiber. Once the school network was up and running, the town of Meeker, the local library and the county hospital all requested to use the school district’s dark fiber – and the Meeker Metropolitan Area Network (Meeker MAN) was born. “It ran for a decade and a half, and we had an abnormal amount of IT cooperation,” says Blake Mobley, who was the IT director of the school district during that period.

In 2014, when the county decided to implement a modern broadband system, it recruited Mobley to be the county IT director because of his experience with the Meeker MAN. “It was the perfect storm,” Mobley says. “There was grassroots desire for broadband, the county commissioners were on board, the county had money to proceed and I had some experience with broadband.”

The county set a goal of obtaining the fastest internet access it could for as many people as it could and offering it at Google-type pricing ($70 for gigabit service). Formulating the policy goal in this way – rather than setting goals in terms of economic development or return on investment – was the first unique aspect of the project.

[more…]

Source: Seven Models For Community Broadband

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

US Telecom Report on American vs. European Broadband, COVID Patent Policy, A ‘Dark Force’ in Utah

This was not the first time Darth Vader strode into a council chamber, but this time he had positive news.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo courtesy UTOPIA Fiber


Broadband Breakfast Insight: A great article detailing the way that a rural community, even in a sparsely-populated region of Colorado, is able to make an open-access network work for the communities and residents of the region. ->

Rio Blanco County Stays Relevant With Broadband, from Broadband Communities Magazine.

Colorado became a hotbed of community broadband activity several years ago when dozens of cities and counties began voting to override restrictive state legislation and take control of their broadband destinies. In November 2016 alone, 26 localities held broadband referenda; all 26 referenda passed, most of them by wide margins.

Rio Blanco County, a rural county in northwestern Colorado with a population of less than 7,000, held an override vote in 2014 and is now connecting customers to Rio Blanco Broadband, a network that will deliver fiber or wireless broadband access to nearly all premises. However, its story began much earlier, in 1999, when the school district in Meeker, the county seat, linked its buildings with fiber. Once the school network was up and running, the town of Meeker, the local library and the county hospital all requested to use the school district’s dark fiber – and the Meeker Metropolitan Area Network (Meeker MAN) was born. “It ran for a decade and a half, and we had an abnormal amount of IT cooperation,” says Blake Mobley, who was the IT director of the school district during that period.

In 2014, when the county decided to implement a modern broadband system, it recruited Mobley to be the county IT director because of his experience with the Meeker MAN. “It was the perfect storm,” Mobley says. “There was grassroots desire for broadband, the county commissioners were on board, the county had money to proceed and I had some experience with broadband.”

The county set a goal of obtaining the fastest internet access it could for as many people as it could and offering it at Google-type pricing ($70 for gigabit service). Formulating the policy goal in this way – rather than setting goals in terms of economic development or return on investment – was the first unique aspect of the project.

[more…]

Source: Seven Models For Community Broadband

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